John Smelcer, Head of Oil and Gas Practice, Webber Wentzel

SmelcerAIX: Gas 2016 panellist.
John represents sponsors, governments, financial institutions and private equity investors in all aspects of project development and financing in the oil and gas sector. Examples of projects he has worked on include private equity-led investments in the oil & gas sector, large scale liquefied natural gas import and export projects across Africa and the emerging markets, oil forward sale structures in Egypt and Nigeria, gas-fired power projects and other downstream oil & gas-related projects.
He is currently representing the Independent Power Producer’s Office in South Africa as the lead legal commercial advisor for the LNG to power programme, as well as representing Black Rhino Group on its US$1.5 billion import facility and pipeline transaction in Ethiopia and Djibouti; Globeleq with respect to certain of its IPP power developments; the South African Department of Trade and Industry in respect to the development of gas industrial policy in the Southern African region; and ExxonMobil with the Southern African region, among other current mandates.
John regularly leads government training workshops on the legal and structuring aspects of oil & gas project financings and his expertise in Africa related projects has been recognized by Chambers Global. He has published various client alerts and articles including the “Nigerian Power Sector Reforms: Opportunities and Challenges for Investment”; “The SEC Proposes Revisions to Exemptions for Cross-Border Tender Offers, Business Combinations and Rights Offerings and Addressing US Capital Market Flight?” and “The SEC’s Re-proposed Deregistration Rules for Foreign Private Issuers” (for the Securities Regulation & Law Report, a BNA publication).
He is a member of the New York Bar and American Bar Association and holds a Juris Doctor of Law from the University of Washington in the US as well as a public policy degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.
Chair at AIX: Gas 2015